7.21.2018

Magazines

I have previously discussed my (former) addiction to cooking magazines. I am happy to report I am doing well.

I haven’t succumbed to Bon Appétit’s relentless renewal letters or “please come back” pleas. They would make the first year free, but I am strong enough to say, “No, thank you.” Same with Food & Wine. No matter how good the deal you are offering, I just say no. (Insert nod to Nancy Reagan...)

When the English edition of La Cucina Italiana went away, I think something inside of me died. It was my favorite. But I had to go on...

Now, I receive only two magazines in the mail... one is Saveur, which I have been getting since its first issue in 1994. I love the global aspect, and it’s (mostly) authentic recipes. The other is Milk Street. Through friends who know him, I was encouraged to check out Christopher Kimball’s new venture. I like it much more than I liked Cook’s Illustrated, finding it filled with more recipes and a lot less of the process and angst.

On occasion, Milk Street will offer a “fix” for a recipe to make it easier for the general populace to pull off. An example is adding cornstarch – cornstarch!! – to Spaghetti alla Carbonara or Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe. To me, this is just wrong. I want to say, “Oh, for Pete’s sake... put on your big boy apron and learn how to make the original!” But that’s my issue, isn’t it?

I especially like the weeknight meals section called Tuesday Nights. It offers six simple and flavorful meals that you can easily make on any workday evening.

A caveat... these recipes use a lot of off-the-beaten-path ingredients. I’m lucky that I obsessively collect these kinds of ingredients and have most on hand. It might prove a challenge for some. For example, today’s soup recipe calls for ají amarillo paste. Not something you find in every larder. Lucky for me, I had some leftover from when I made Lomo Saltado. It adds a nice heat to the dish but in no way would you call it spicy.

Save for the cream, this is an incredibly healthy dish. And a little cream won’t hurt you. Just ask Julia Child...

~ David

Peruvian Chupe de Quinoa
Minimally adapted from the recipe at Milk Street

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
1/4 cup ají amarillo paste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken broth
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (1/2-inch)
kernels from 3 ears of corn
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup cream
fresh mint sprigs, for serving
lime wedges, for serving 


In a large soup pot, sauté the red onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft and beginning to brown - about 10 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the ají amarillo paste, oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook for about a minute to intensify the flavors.

Add the broth, sweet potato, corn, and quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to keep at a brisk simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.

Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Ladle into bowls and serve with mint sprigs and lime wedges for your guests to tear and squeeze over their serving.

Serves 4-6.

There are many versions of this soup from Peru. Some add chicken, others add shrimp. The mixture of vegetable also seems to vary - I suppose it depends on what is in your larder. You can try some of these additions:
   - diced red bell pepper
   - green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
   - cooked chicken thighs, shredded
   - add raw shrimp for the last 3-4 minutes of cooking




35 comments:

  1. If it weren't so hot here I would devour that bowl! I will save this recipe for cooler weather.

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    1. But don’t wait too long, otherwise all the fresh corn will be gone!

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  2. Now this is a soup with substance. For some reason it seems familiar to me, so I can only assume I had a version of it in our Peruvian travels. It looks so delicious!

    Now you've reminded me that I need to get a jar of aji amarillo. I love that stuff.

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    1. I found quite a few versions, so it wouldn’t surprise me if you did have it on your travels!

      I am so grateful to you for the introduction to aji amarillo paste!

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  3. Aji Amarillo paste, eh? Never heard of it, but just found out I can order it online from a site called 'Fireworks.com'- Hmm, that tells me something about the heat it must give off, but I'm always on the lookout for new spices/flavorings. One of my favorite food magazines, DONNA HAY, has just ceased publication after 17 years. I'm a bit sad but on the other hand, I couldn't bear to throw away any of the past issues- the back issues are therefore almost stacked to the ceiling! I could go for some of your delicious soup right now!

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    1. That’s the same kind of stack of magazines I had, Fran... something had to give!

      You will love the aji amarillo paste!

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  4. I am in love with Peruvian dishes.Seriously !

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    1. Me, too - just started to explore and love everything so far!

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  5. You struck a nerve when you mentioned Cooks Illustrated. "Process and angst" is a great way to describe it. I'm delighted to know I'm not the only one who finds their approach to food joyless. And when it comes to Italian food, don't get me started. Their "improvements" to classic dishes drive me wild. Rant over...

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    1. While I understand that some love the science of this, cooking is an art in my book. And the cornstarch is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m glad you and I are on the same page.

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  6. I never heard of Ali Amarillo paste, what is is David? You have to counsel me on my addiction to cooking magazines . I loved La Cucina Italiana, I vaguely remember an ice cream recipe with roasted apricots . Do you have that recipe in one of your old issues? I can’t find it. Your soup looks wonderful.m

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    1. I might have it Gerlinde... do you rememeber anything about the issue? Approximately when? I’m sure it was summer... I will begin looking!

      Aji amarillo are mildly hot golden chiles from Peru. Very flavorful!

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    2. Thank you David, that is so sweet of you. I don’t remember when I saw it, I am sorry about that. It has to wait until next year anyway since I am in Europe right now.

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    3. Enjoy your time in Europe! I will peruse and see what I can find!

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  7. This looks like a nice fall dish. Will save for cooler weather.

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    1. As I said to another reader, Carol, don’t wait too long or you won’t have fresh corn!

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  8. It's because of you that I also have amarillo paste! Yay! La Cucina Italia was also my favorite cooking magazine. I still have every last copy I received int he mail, dog-eared and all. :-) I haven't explored Milk Street yet, but I will now. Thanks for the intro. And as for the recipe, well of course it sounds delicious, and since I'm already armed with the amarillo paste, I'll be making it soon. :-)

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    1. Isn’t the aji amarillo paste amazing? I find myself buying 6 jars at a time.

      Nothing will ever replace La Cucina in my mind. I heard rumor it’s coming back but have seen no evidence yet!

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  9. I'm so happy Peruvian cuisine is having such a glorious moment. It's soups like this that made my trip to Peru the most exciting culinary travel of my life (so far). It's also why (I too) have aji paste in the house. GREG

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    1. Someday I will get there, Greg... I will get close in May (Chile - Santiago and Rapa Nui) but it’s not the same. Glad you have the paste, too!

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  10. When I was going to Australia earlier this year, I asked my friend what I could bring her. She wanted cooking magazines, I knew which ones she wanted, and they weren't the Dump Dinner type ones. I have to say, after going on hiatus from my subscriptions many years ago, I was SHOCKED at the size and price of the ones like Food and Wine and Bon Appetit! There was nothing to them, still lots of ads and like $10 each! I can buy a little cookbook for that price! I ended up not bringing her any as they were so disappointing!

    I used to LOVE Saveur, but after seeing something they shared on Facebook (it was an atrocity), I hit the unlike button and haven't gone back. Maybe their magazine is still okay, but that online editor should have been shot.

    Your soup sounds great, except at the temps we're reaching here lately, it will be a long time before I make any type of soup! Hope you're keeping cool, David!

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    1. I am very curious about the online Saveur issue. I don’t think I am connected to them on Facebook. The magazine seems to be very much the same as it always was, which is good for me.

      I don’t even mind hot soup in the summer... my mother always said that dipping something hot helped to cool you down on the outside. I’m sure there is no science in that, but I still drink hot cocoa every day. And soup quite often!

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    2. Yes, I have heard that before about hot soup, but it doesn't work for me. I've even said no to tea a few times, it's just TOOO bloody hot :(

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  11. Amarillo paste is new to me! So of course I Googled it -- sounds quite good. I'll have to get some, so I can make this. Love soup, and anything that has a sweet potato in it is wonderful to me. I'm basically off magazines. Still subscribe to the online version of _Cook's Illustrated_ but almost never read it -- I should just cancel my subscription. We moved about a dozen years ago and I threw out over 30 years of old food magazines (mainly _Gourmet_ and _Bon Appetit_). These days I'm mainly reading blogs, plus a few newspaper food sections (the NYT has a good one). Anyway, really like this recipe -- thanks. --JOHN

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    1. I am surprised so many print magazines still exist - everything is online now.

      You will love the paste, John - a great condiment!

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  12. David, congratulations on your "sobriety"--My name is Jean, and I'm a magaholic! Milk Street came along at the wrong time to capture me. And Saveur I had to let go in order to overcome the addiction. I just checked my blog and see that I wrote about it on 01/01/15--can't believe it's been 3 1/2 years! Like you, I keep resisting the Bon Appetit and Food & Wine offers, no matter how steep the discount. Keep up the good work. And pass me a bowl of this gorgeous soup.

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    1. I knew I wasn’t going to be alone in this, Jean! Consider the bowl of soup passed!

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  13. I bought one issue of "Milk Street" because there was a very interesting recipe for Whole Roasted Cauliflower. It was the May-June, 2018 one and on page 13. One first blanches it for 5 (only) minutes in highly salted water. Then drain it thoroughly and roast in a very hot oven until it begins to brown. I season it with olive oil and fenugreek sprinkled over before roasting. It's delicious that way. As the article states, one could eat ONLY this big head for dinner and be very happy, but I share it with my hubby and daughter. They also love it. I won't subscribe, though, because I don't really want any recipes for MEAT, you know. That cauliflower recipe is a keeper! Try it soon! I will certainly make that Peruvian soup soon. We eat lots of sweet potatoes and quinoa at our house.

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    1. This soup is definitely for you, Caterina! (Minus the cream!) Even without it, the flavor is so good - quite addictive! And the cauliflower is a great recipe - I made it as well. And have several other versions. And, yes, sometimes we share a head of cauliflower for dinner. Healthy and tasty!

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  14. I have a "hope chest" of cooking magazines in a big plastic container under my bed. Must admit, a recent Bon Appétit offer did catch me, but I held my ground when the renewal came. I hope you will pardon me if I don't check out Milk Street ;-)

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  15. I love everything about this soup David!! I need to order some of the pepper paste so I can make it authentically as your recipe does. Love quinoa, sweet potato and corn!

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    1. Someone told me While Foods is carrying the ají amarillo, Marcelle. You will love this!

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  16. Absolutely nothing wrong with a dash of cream. What a lovely soup, sounds wonderful. I too used to get a lot of cooking style magazines but I stoped buying them because they became really repetitive. I got bored with them!

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    1. Bored is the perfect word for them, Emma! They have all become the same...

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